Office Politics

How to deal with office politics? is a heartfelt question I get in my DMs and I skilfully avoid answering them 🙈

Today I decided to pen down some thoughts. Thank you #writein.

It took three cups of coffee to jog the memory lane of good, bad and ugly parts the office politics in my personal experience. It helped me reflect better.

I use to look down upon office politics for a long time. One day my mentor in HP made me realise that whether I like it or not, believe it or not, I am an integral part of it.

My first life changing lesson is “I can’t sit out the politics”.

Once I accepted that I am a part of it, I decided to look into the complexity deeply and mindfully.

  • Office politics are not always evil 👿 . Most times, it is a play of social capital and influence currency in the organisation.
  • Conversations are conversations. There are no formal or informal ones. When you start seeing all conversations as important, it helps you do your homework and work better.
  • Study the influence map of your organisation. Spend enough time and energy in understanding the spoken and unspoken culture of your organization. Only awareness can guide your action. Get aware.
  • An organisation is a society by itself. The larger the org, the higher the complexity. Making a large organization successful cannot happen in silos. It must be an intentional, focused and intense collaboration. Your success depends upon your org’s success. It never happens at your desk alone. Knowing this will liberate you.
  • There are no brownie points for refusing to be a part of office politics. I use to wear it as a badge of honour and proudly use to display my badge saying I come to work to get work done and not to engage in petty politics. Head-in-the-sand strategy will not work. Instead I urge you to be politically intelligent and be adaptable to your environment.
  • Working with self and working with others are two important aspects one should become adept. Unfortunately no one teaches us and by the time we learn, enough damage is done. Spend time in learning human behaviors and human nature before you really step into work force. Understand different perspectives and priorities of your stakeholders and actively work towards making them successful. Your success is inevitable.
  • Your work doesn’t speak for itself. You do. Your framing does. The impact your work creates must make others speak about your work. Creating visibility for your work is your responsibility.
  • The anatomy of all politics are similar. Whether it is government, NGO, church or MNC it is the same. The reason being, the least common denominator of every politics is human beings.

Being aware of all the above helps you pick and choose where do you want to focus your time/energy, how to do high impact work and how to add value to an organisation.

Remember your career is your responsibility. It is upto you to make it or break it.

🥂 to human nature!

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